Inspiring your team to Champions League glory and then immediately being deemed surplus to requirements is something of a rare phenomenon.
In the latter stages of Real Madrid's glorious European campaign, Di Maria was magnificent. He tore Bayern Munich to pieces in both legs of the semi-final, and in the final he was awarded Man Of The Match as Los Blancos overcame their stubborn city rivals Atletico Madrid to win their 10th European crown.
But for one reason or another, the Argentinean doesn't appear to be wanted at the Santiago Bernabeu. Subsequently, a host of European football's most illustrious have been linked with a move for the 26-year-old, including United.
Here's the very latest on the Red Devils' pursuit of the Real Madrid man, and a look at a couple of deals that could determine how the Old Trafford club fare in their first season under the tutelage of Louis van Gaal.
Red Devils still interested in Di Maria deal
Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed that they are yet to finalise a move for the Argentinean, meaning that Van Gaal's side could still have an outside chance of bringing the player to Old Trafford.
According to Chris Waugh of the Mail Online, the Dutch manager is a keen admirer of the midfielder and has not given up hope of bringing Di Maria to England to spearhead United's renaissance.
Former United defender Laurent Blanc manages the French champions, and he advised that nothing is done yet:
I'll leave you to speculate. At the moment nothing is done.
Are there negotiations? It's not for me to say, but for the board of the club.
Should the Red Devils manage to put together a deal for the player, here are the kinds of qualities that could potentially light up Old Trafford throughout the 2014/15 campaign:
Waugh notes in his piece that PSG are a little concerned about spending a reported £49 million on Di Maria, especially when you consider they've already splashed out a sizeable amount for David Luiz this summer, not to mention the scrutiny the club are under in regards to Financial Fair Play rules.
This could give United the chance to swoop, and if the 20-time English champions were to bring Di Maria to Old Trafford, he'd be a stunning acquisition.
He'd provide United with a dynamism, incisiveness and level of creativity in midfield that they have long been lacking. Even if they have to pay a premium for his services, with Di Maria United would be getting a thoroughbred talent capable of pushing Van Gaal's team on to new heights.
Vidal rules out move to Manchester
Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal has admitted that he's unsure where his future lies at this juncture but has ruled out the prospect of joining United.
This will come as a major blow to United supporters after the club had been linked with a move for the Bianconeri man for almost the entirety of the transfer window in a big-money move. Here's why Vidal is so hotly coveted:
While the Chilean would add plenty to the United engine room, a union with Van Gaal looks to be off the table at this point. There could be plenty of midfielders in the Red Devils dressing room pleased by this news however, as this cartoon from Goal UK notes:
Such is the calibre of a player like Vidal—whose future admittedly remains somewhat undecided—perhaps the Red Devils will maintain their interest and do their utmost to get him on board.
Van Gaal doesn't seem to be the kind of character who will wait around for players to make their mind up, but there are a few players worth making exceptions for and Vidal is indisputably one of them.
United keen on Memphis Depay
Is there a Dutch international that United haven't been linked with since Van Gaal was announced as manager? The latest is PSV Eindhoven's young forward Depay.
According to the BBC's Mike Keegan, the 20-year-old forward is being monitored by United in a move that would see him loaned back out during his first season at the club:
Staying with #mufc and Dutch players, believe club are monitoring Memphis Depay. Any move could see him loaned out for first year.— Mike Keegan (@mikekeeganbbc) July 24, 2014
Here's what United would be getting should they acquire the services of the talented forward:
Like a host of the Dutch squad that finished third in the 2014 World Cup, Depay dazzled viewers with his combination of pace, power and composure in dangerous areas. Despite his young age, he also showcased his ability to be both disciplined and versatile when the situation demands, qualities that will surely have appealed to Van Gaal.
Here's a breakdown of some of his statistics from last season, courtesy of Who Scored?:
Van Gaal could potentially mould Depay into a fine attacker, and if Keegan has reported the interest—a journalist who has strong links in Manchester—then you'd be inclined to believe the link with the player is valid.
With Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney set to lead the line for United this season, a deal that would see Depay go back out on loan would be ideal for all parties. That way, the Dutch international could refine his game and come back to Old Trafford as a much more complete player.